ENABLING FARMERS TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE | UGANDA
This project uses a set of ICT tools to collect, analyze and send out agricultural advisories, crop
and livestock market information and weather data to Ugandan farmers, who are among the most
affected by the impacts of climate change. More than 100,000 farmers now receive seasonal and
short-term weather forecasts, agricultural advisories, weekly livestock and crop market information
and guidance on low-cost rainwater harvesting techniques and drought and flood coping mechanisms
via mobile-phone technology and interactive radio. As a result, farmers are able to minimize crop
loss and damage, making them more resilient to a changing climate.
More 100,000 farmers receive climate change adaptation information via mobile-phone technology,
including seasonal weather forecasts and agricultural advisories tailored to their languages and
As a direct result of the project, crop loss and damage has been reduced by up to 65% (USD 474
– 573 per household per year)
The project is designed in such a way that it is generic and customizable enough to be easily
replicated in other countries
Agriculture, which accounts for over 40% of Uganda’s GDP, employs 80% of the labor force and supplies
85% of exports, is primarily rain-fed, making it vulnerable to drought. The effects of higher average
temperatures and more frequent and severe climatic changes in Uganda are seen primarily in the reduction in
food security, decline in the quantity and quality of water and degradation of ecosystems, and negative
impacts on health, settlements, and infrastructure.
Yet, farmers here receive little or no relevant information to help them cope with drought and other
The project developed a climate information system that uses a set of ICT tools to collect, analyze and
disseminate adaptation information to farmers. The system includes mobile-phone-based tools for gathering
weekly crop and livestock market information from 46 local market outlets and daily weather data from 22
rural weather stations. This information is then disseminated via radio broadcasts, mobile phones, print
media and community meetings with local authorities.
This information helps more than 100,000 farmers decide what, when, where and how much to sell; gives
guidance on low-cost rainwater harvesting techniques; and provides information on drought and flood coping
Farmers can ask questions or request additional information via text message. Interactive radio talk-shows
allow farmers to phone in or text questions or comments live on-air.
Both weather and market data sets are transmitted via the cellular network and integrated into a database
on a server installed by the project at the Meteorology Authority in Kampala, where the weekly reports are
generated. Forecasters at the Meteorology Authority have access to daily rainfall data on a secure website
developed by the project.
Crop and livestock market information helps farmers decide what and where to sell, and minimizes economic
losses incurred by selling their assets below market value.
Climate-based agricultural advisories such as crop planning advice; crop management advice based on updated
weather forecasts and how it will affect sowing, weed management, pest and disease incidence and control,
harvest and post-harvest handling of crops; and crop and livestock management under unfavorable weather
conditions such as heavy rains, floods and strong winds helps farmers minimize crop loss and damage.
A study involving 640 households showed that the use of timely and locally relevant adaptation information
reduced crop loss and damage by 67% (USD 474 - 573 per household per year).
The project is designed in such a way that it is generic and customizable enough to be replicated in other
countries. To support replicability, the core part of the system, including the SMS engine, reporting
modules, data collection and transmission platform, do not change when deployed in different setting. All
components of the system are based on widely used open-source applications and can be used by any
institution/country without the need to obtain licenses and subscription fees.
The project is developing documentation to enable the customization of the system by interested parties
including the ability to reconfigure the user interfaces, user rights and privileges, external
interoperability points, administrative and user management options, and adding additional modules without
changing the core elements of the system.
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